Director's Digressions

Picture of Imke Durre.
DO-IT Mentor and keynote speaker Imke Durre at the 2007 AccessSTEM CBI.

DO-IT has been busy! In this column, I'll share highlights from four of our national and international collaborations.

In November of 2006, I traveled to Bangalore, India, to deliver the keynote address at Information Technology Uses for Children and Adults with Disabilities, the first Indo-U.S. conference for Indian universities, information technology (IT) companies, professional associations, and family centers.

In early December of 2006, web accessibility experts and Webmasters from across the nation met in Seattle at our Web Accessibility Capacity-Building Institute (CBI) to exchange ideas about how to make the web more accessible to people with disabilities. The proceedings are at www.washington.edu/doit/cbi/webaccess/proceedings.html.

In January of 2007, DO-IT hosted the AccessSTEM CBI, a three-day gathering of thirty leaders of National Science Foundation (NSF) projects that promote the participation of women, ethnic and racial minorities, and people with disabilities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) with the goal of increasing the participation of individuals with disabilities in all NSF programs. See the proceedings at www.washington.edu/doit/cbi/bpstem/proceedings.html. Participants helped draft the publication Broadening Participation in Science and Engineering by Welcoming Participants with Disabilities that was distributed to more than 500 NSF project directors and program officers.

In February, we hosted a meeting of our AccessCollege team, a diverse group from twenty-one two- and four-year campuses around the country, to work on making postsecondary institutions more welcoming and accessible to students with disabilities. Take a look at the websites that have resulted from this and other DO-IT projects funded by the Office of Postsecondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education (www.washington.edu/doit/Resources/postsec.html).

In July, two of our DO-IT Ambassadors traveled to Japan to assist Dr. Mamoru Iwabuchi in the inaugural DO-IT Japan Summer Study in Tokyo! This collaboration provides a great example of what DO-IT expects of its Scholar graduates—or Ambassadors—the continued work to make our world more inclusive for people with disabilities. Read more about the first DO-IT Japan Summer Study in the article DO-IT Ambassadors Assist in DO-IT Japan's First Summer Study!

With all that was accomplished this year, one can only wonder what great adventures are in store for DO-IT in 2008!